Monday, October 25, 2010

We got a good look at the people behind Blizzard, they are like me

At every panel at this years Blizzcon, we saw the people behind Blizzard.

We saw the story-makers, the game-designers, the content-designers, we saw Metzen, Ghostcrawler. We did not see, the numberchruncing fans, we did not see the roleplaying forum fans panel, we did not see a lot of cool things that spinks mentions.

We did see the now (almost infamous) Q&A that Larisa boggles over. Okay some of us saw it, others read transcripts and read their own personal agenda into it.
Whatever you think of their response to this (and mine is in the comments on both posts), there is one thing painfully obvious for me, about these panel talks.

Every single employee with anything worth saying at Blizzard, is: 35+, white, a little overweight (some more than a little), balding and likes metal. And they only ever talk to other people like that.

I am reminded of two things:
This amazing article that really struck a chord with me. It is a bit old, but it is well worth the read:
What if the Character is black? By Brenda Brathwaite.

It is an amazing pieces, that two years later still sticks with me.
And this tl:dr piece from Dark Legacy Comics, it is aptly named "whitecraft"

Before any minds are blown: I am a white, late 20's male, I might be slightly overweight too. I love roleplaying (the real version, at a table with dice), and I almost wept, when I saaw the "GEEK" speech from Metzen.
(you know the part, the Star Wars part, showing the movies to your kids and hoping that those movies will influence their imagination, as much as it did yours...still gets goosebumps, and I don't have kids)

So Shouldn't I be happy? Blizzard is a company filled with... me.
So the games they make, should be perfectly suited for... me.
They should know precisely what I want. Because it is what they want.

But what I do know, is that a company filled with people like me, will only *at best* make a game filled with what I think I want out of a game. At best.
They will not -however- ever be able to make games filled with all the stuff I never knew I wanted in a game. Never.

So here is me hoping that they will soon get some much needed diversity in their departments. Hopefully that will shine through on their music choices too. Because no matter how much I like Offspring and Ozzy, and how much I love 'the D', it is all a little too much the same for my liking.

Edit to add, that I have missed at least one person with some weight at Blizzard, who is not like me. (at least not on appreances.) Shahram Dabiri. He is now lead producer on the secret mmo (well not so secret if you watched blizzcon LARISA!!!!!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How wrong was i? (Blizzcon)

I was very very very wrong. On just about everything.

I will have to agree with Tobold that Blizzcon announces absolutely nothing.

How well does that go (so far) with my predictions?
Bare in mind that Chris Metzen said that all the big announcements where made in the opening speech, so there won't (almost certainly) be any real announcements left.

Here is what they announced:
- Cataclysm will be pre-downloadable, so that you can play at midnight on launch

- The last class for Diablo 3 will be the (boooooooring loking) Demon hunter

- Diabloe 3 will have a (horrible looking) pvp arena system.

Argh

Here is what I predicted:

- The new unannounced mmo will get a teaser.

- Last Class from Diablo III will be revealed (holy warrior, holy warrior, holy warrior)

- Release date of Diablo III will be revealed

- Next expansion for scII will be revealed. And no, I am not talking about'heart of the swarm', I mean the first expansion for scII 'Wings of Liberty'

So basically I got 1 right. And that was my safe bet.
So what was there of goodies at the Blizzcons first day?
Not much. An interesting talk about dungeon design for wow. Only, they said pretty much the same thing they did 2 years ago, so that was a let down.
Then there where some tournaments, and im sorry but the two women commentating Warcraft 3, where complete and utter IDIOTS.
Even me, who have not played Wc3 since it was a new game, could tell they where wrong:
He looks uncertain, like he does not know where his opponent is, oh no he is splitting up his army. BIG MISTAKE, he is going to loose this game, and he was on top
Really? To me it looks like he is boxing the other guy in, but i guess you two know what you are talking abo...
Oh he got lucky there finding the other army, and there is no escape, he has won it. That was so lucky, he made a bad call and just got so lucky
...And they went on and on with this drivel. At one time they even questioned why this Korean kid did not "gg" (give up: "good game") as they called it, despite the fact that he controlled the entire map. Le grand frikking sigh.
So I turned to look at some WoW arena

And they seem to have lagged out
Then I went to bed.
Hopefully things will pick up today... You know what? Honestly LAGGING OUT. How is that possible at a tournament? Set up by Blizz themselves? Seriously, that is some amateur s*** going on there. It reminds me of when Steve Jobs gave a presentation of some phone and could not get a signal

You'd think they would have tested stuff like that.

Anyway. Heres hoping they will improve the quality of -everything- tonight, and that re-watching these things when I am not tired, will somehow give me a brighter outlook on the quality and information-value of everything.

But as a PS i'll add this, that the "geek", speech from Metzen, got this old grumpy Dworf, right in the soft spot.
I am a romantic at heart, and when he showed the Star wars logo and said, that "geek is: Watching your daughter see Star Wars for the first time, hoping these films will influence her imagination, as much as it did yours" I chocked up a bit. I did.
I think that that bit alone, was worth the entry fee i payed. Even if that part was aired for free for everyone to watch.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blizzcon, fekk it... It's just money

Yes. I am still a fan.
How do I know?
I just bought web-live-feed-thingie for Blizzcon.
Bare in mind that this is an event that (for me) will start at 8pm and end at 5 in the morning. If I where to watch it live.
That is a stupid stupid thing to spend money on.
Really stupid. And everything will be posted on mmo-champion.

So why am I doing it? I'd love to play it cool and say: "Its the pet" "Its Tenacious D" (well... okay it is ALSO that).
But the truth is, that once upon a time I was at wow-invitational (have I mentioned this like a trillion times before? Good, thats my point) and I had an absolute BLAST.

Mrs Dwism, however, did not. She joined a group of 15-20 other non-gaming girlfriends of gamers, and sat down at the main stage when there where nothing on, and read her book. There where a lot of women doing that.... And they say that love makes *men* do stupid things. These women went to Paris.

Frikking PARIS

To read a book at a noisy convention center, while their chosen ones ran around going "omgfggfgfgggdbsdfwef" and other stuff. In Paris.
Argh, I'm getting sidetracked. My point was, that on the last day there was a talk about dungeon design. I was so sucked into this talk, that I forgot about time, and had to be pulled away by the aformentioned Mrs. Dwism - so we would not miss our flight home.
It was so interesting, hearing the thought that is layed into every single detail about a fight. 'Does the boss abilities match the theme of the dungeon and his looks?', 'does these abilities sync well with eachother?' 'does all of these abilities combined present an interesting fight for the 4 types of raiders? (melee, ranged, tonk and healz) ect ect ect.
Now I get to relieve that event all those years ago, and I get to be able to press pause and listen to it all the way through in my own time.

I think I made a good decision.

REMEMBER: Cast your votes on what stuff will be revealed at blizzcon. It is not too late to be able to say "I told you all so"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blizzard returning us to more privacy?

I got a mail the other day from Blizzard. They practically begged my forgiveness for the screw-up on Real-ID

"We have changed"
Blizzard claimed.
"We won't ever hurt you again, it was a mistake"
And like bruised women and men in abusive relationships all over the world. I knew better. But I still love Blizzard, and I know that *I* can make them change. If I just don't complain when they want to invite all my facebook friends over. They won't hurt me again. If I just don't screw up.

As a token of their good will, Blizz has effectively shut down Armory. And inspection. I can't see what the 2handed warrior-tank is specced. All I can see is that he is taking loads of damage. I can no longer see if that hunter who looks to be wearing pvp gear, is gemmed for int still. All I can tell is that they suck.
We are back to vanilla.
"Are you happy now?"
Blizzard asks me.
"Isn't this what you wanted? No more inspections, no more armory checks. You can turn off every part of real-id. I told you I changed."

... I kindda hope armory gets working again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting back into the thick of things, and so should you!

So this is more of an "where I am at in the game right at this moment", than a post meant to inspire or ask questions.
Besides Larisa once said that bloggers are not allowed to ask questions... Or something like that.

So I have returned from my glorious vacation to the US, I've re-activated my WoW-account, I've begun running, and well... Just being happy.
I love fall. There is a reason I got married in the fall. Trees are dieing ehhh turning into pretty colours. The air is sharp and it feels great to breathe (well... It does) the crisp fall air.
But you know what feels even better? Closing the door to your dark room where the only light you have is from a desk lamp, and your pc. And just gaming. And reading about games that are coming. Fall is perfect for that. The weather is perfect for sitting in doors (summer is perfect for sitting inside a movie theater, but thats another talk), and because some people like to worship that it's turning into summer again by cutting down trees and giving gifts, there are a lot of games to look forward to.

This fall, however, I am playing pre-cata and loving it. Just like the outside world Azeroth feels like it's turning into pretty colours.. ehm Dieing (dying? what's the difference? Is it a US/UK thing?..ehm I'm getting sidetracked here).
Its about to perish. To cease. And everyone is grasping at straws, and everyone is struggling to stay alive, relevant and to enjoy every last pixel. It is marvelous.

Just like many a movie mass murder has stated, people are at their most pure, beautiful and truest, when they are close to death. And it is true for gamers.
The best time you ever had in any game as a kid, where when your mom was about to pull the plug on your Snes because you where late for granny's birthday, or when your dad is taking out the batteries of your Gameboy (not advance, just gameboy... guess my age!) because it is *way* over your bed time.
Those where the best parts of the best games. The "Just five more minutes Blizzard" - type of games.

Just five more minutes Blizzard


Here we stand. At the dusk of Wrath, the greatest expansion Blizzard ever created (I've got a post setup to explain just why this is), and we just got the new tools and toys of cataclysm.
Everything is old worn and comfortable. But yet new and exciting. I will make this as clear as I can. This is coming from a player that has played and survived every single expansion so far, and is still loving the game (oh hello there TotalBiscuit, calling yourself a raider while not doing any raids? Fancy meting you here in the "hating the game, not the money -section [I got a post on that coming up soon too])
Where was I?
Oh right.

Take it from me, this is the very very best time to be playing WoW.

Not tomorrow, not after Cataclysm. NOW.
There is fancy new toys to play with. They are funterrific. There is Masteries, there is new resource systems, there is reforging. It is all shiny and new. And everyone is just as confused as you are, trying to figure em out. Nobody knows anything about anything. Or rather, none of them, know any more than you.
Sure you will meet the pitchfork crowd, every know and again, like Tamarind did. But most runs will these days consist of tanks activating their dualspecc-blood at the entrance begging for forgiveness if their threat is weak. Or old alts dusted of to test the waters, to see if this or that class will be their future main.

It is fun times indeed. Almost all raids are the same. Sure your raid-leader might get pissed at you for claiming that Bone shield is overpriced and useless in any sort of practical way, or when you show up to raid as the third healer (10 manned) with two disc speccs to "test out smite versus non-smite builds" (fyi: smite is incredible, sorry Tam, Discs w/o smite are doing it wrong). But overall everyone is relaxed and forgiving. There is no real hunt for gear in order to get ready for the next dungeon, because there isn't one. Yet everyone is excited about raids still because their classes are all shiny and new. (except rogues, which I have on good authority "suck complete arse now, I lost 2k dps" Then again, who ever gave a damn about rogues?).

So get back into the game. enjoy all your alts that work in mysterious new ways. And pray that in a month or so, glyphs will be affordable once again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Whats to hate about Night elfs? (also there seem to be a new patch)

To sum up how everyone has reacted to the new patch:
Troll-hunter:
My mana is bugged, I've contacted GM support, but no answer (in trade chat of course)


Bloggers:

Patch takes time to download 
Addons do not seem to work 
Whoa, I have sooooo many classes, and I cannot get all them working right yet, this is going to take a long time. Because I have so many classes, and they are all dual-specced.
I have a tree-healer and I never realised that it was really a Night elf

Dwism

Patch takes time to download
Addons do not seem to work
Whoa, I have sooooo many classes, and I cannot get all them working right yet, this is going to take a long time. Because I have so many classes, and they are all dual-specced.

I do have a tree healer And you know what, I did know it was an elf. And I also remember when they implemented that stupid tree form. That was horrible. Thank God I can actually see my frikking toon now! Why is it that the most daft model in the history of everything in WoW, is being mourned when removed???

What is wrong with you? What makes the below seem like a brave soldier of the horde/alliance? Fighting the good fight, protecting the weak, killing the Lich king. You rolled an Elf/Tauren. Play as one. And if you rolled after this model was implemented, I am sure that Totalbiscuit has some choice words to you.
And if you rolled a druid in order to play as a tree form. You are most likely some sick sick freak. I can see you know. Leather suit, gag-ball and posting on the official forums, begging for gnome druids so your main can continue to be a gnome. Oh yes.

Madness? THIS. IS. TREE. FORM


....Whats with the hate of Elfs?


They are cool. They are awsome. They are shadowy fighters. They are this

OH yea... 

And do you want to know where this pic is from? DOTA 2!

DoTA 2 is in the making. And it's valve behind it.

Valve. DoTA. Valve.

How can you not be happy? Plus tree form is gone! And all classes are yummie new, and glorious and fun and its friday. The only thing is that my addons are still screwy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What we will learn at Blizzcon 2010

Let's do a thing.
Let's stick our necks out. Let's try and guess what the reveals will be at Blizzcon 2010


I'll go first!

- The new unannounced mmo will get a teaser.

- Last Class from Diablo III will be revealed (holy warrior, holy warrior, holy warrior)

- Release date of Diablo III will be revealed

(that isn't really a calendar, its a release *year*)

Erhm back on track.

- Next expansion for scII will be revealed. And no, I am not talking about 'heart of the swarm', I mean the first expansion for scII 'Wings of Liberty'

What else? hmm there needs to be a reveal for WoW... Well I guess that one is open to everyone else. Make your own lists, it is always fun to make these (or announce that Boub is a moron and doesn't know the release date...hrrrmmm) guesses and see how many you get right.



Maybe for wow the first raid dungeon? We all know that the release trailer-cinematic for Cata will be shown on Saturday morning, so that's no fun guessing at.

OH AND DON't MISS THE FACT THAT THE GREATEST BAND IN THE WORLD WILL CLOSE DOWN THE FRIKKING SHOW

Friday, October 8, 2010

Almost sort of Cataclysm theme blog changes

Title says it all doesn't it?

I've gotten out my brush and half-rotten buckets of paint and done myself some remodelling.

I am most proud of my count-down counter, that I got from a site called guildzilla.

Also they have a signatur maker that adds important stats! Like how many times you have /roll need on items, or how many hugs you have given out.
How cool is that?
Screw my resillience or my block rating. This *is* the stuff that matters!

Signed

Warcraft Guild Websites

Monday, October 4, 2010

Release is dec 7th, I am not saying I was wrong, but I was not totally right either ;)

Guess the good frenchmen got it right in his second try.
I will however stand by my last post critizing him for being a (semi unwilling) puppet of the publicity machine. I guess it is not so bad since mmo-champion is still the very best place for the latest news, so i guess I will have to get of my high horse and just go "WOOOO - We are getting Cataclysm this year"




... But in the back of my head I cannot help but wonder what they have in store for when Star wars the Old Republic is released :)